Tag Archives: Javelina Jundred

Smelly Armchair Musings: I will try

“Child, finish what you started.”

I often speak to myself in this manner when I’m in a low spot while running. For some reason, it makes me feel a little better to encourage or nudge myself as if I’m a child: the adult in me is comforting the child in me. I’m pretty sure I don’t have spilt personality, but maybe….

Three years ago I started something big. After having run a few 50K’s, I decided it was time to run a bigger ultra: I signed up for the Javelina Jundred K. At the time, this race consisted of four washing machine loops on Pemberton Trail in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. I was cocky. I’d run this trail numerous times. It is a pretty clean trail, very few rocks, very little elevation change, wide as a highway. It really is a great location for a first ultra-distance. My first 50K and 50 miler were both there (the 50 miler took place after the event being described here). So, as any runner is wont to do, I began training and I trained through the summer. My training, however, was inappropriate for what I was tackling. In my cockiness, I didn’t recognize it at the time. I did the typical back-to-back long runs on the weekends, but they weren’t long enough. My overall weekly mileage was too low. I didn’t cross train to make up for this. The trails I trained on were inappropriate for the terrain I would be covering on race day. Race morning dawned, I took fun pictures with my friends before the start and then we started. I had one good loop, two terrible loops, and I quit.

“But”, I’ve said to myself, “your IT band was in BAD shape. You were limping and walking that entire third loop. You couldn’t have done another loop!” Really? I really couldn’t do another loop? I had all night long and part of the next day still for crying out loud! “It would have been unwise to continue.” Maybe, unlikely, but maybe. Now, three years later, it’s too late and I will never know for sure.

This is the one that got away. This was my first DNF. I was blogging at the time, but I didn’t blog about this. I was ashamed. Ashamed of what? Everyone DNF’s at some point, who cares? I cared. I didn’t finish what I’d set out to do. I went into it all arrogant and presumptuous. “Oh whatever, it’s just Pemberton, no big deal.” I was ashamed of my failure. Ashamed that I’d been so cocksure and failed. Ashamed that I didn’t finish.

Well, that race taught me everything. First and foremost, never, ever, EVER quit. The runner’s adage, “If the bone ain’t showin’, keep on goin’.” is a true statement, but I didn’t realize it until I did quit. I stopped because I didn’t want to go on. It was dark, my knee hurt, my pride was hurt, I was tired, I was emotional, I quit. This failure at JJK has driven me at races and difficult runs since. Now, I will make them pull me from the course, I will not quit.

“Child, finish what you started.”

When deciding what my running goals for 2017 would be, I decided I wanted, no, NEEDED to finish what I’d started. At the beginning of the year, I had attempted 3 distances that were 50+ miles. I’d DNF’d two out of three, and that was shitty. Failure hung over me. Nobody else cared about this, but I did. Was I actually capable? Could I do this? I didn’t see the point in signing up for other, new 50 mile or 100K distances if I couldn’t even finish the ones I’d already tried. I would try to finish what I’d started.

This lead me to put my name in for Zane Grey again, when I’d already decided I wouldn’t run that again anytime soon. I got in, and by the toenails on my feet I finished it. FINISHED IT! YES! It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was ridiculously horrible (my pacer Amy told me recently that she was starting to get a little concerned towards the end when I began sort of singing quietly, all mumbly under my breath), but that’s ok, I made it! Okay, one goal down. Now on to the evil angel who haunts my dreams, Javelina Jundred K.

After a full month’s rest from Zane, I began training for JJK this week. I will be seeing a lot of Pemberton and the canal. Two places which rate fairly low (REALLY low) on my scale of desirable places to run (Where is the climbing? The technicality? I need mountains! Adventure!). The bright side though? They are not road, and they are fast. I’m hoping this translates into more time at home with my family, even though I’ll be running a ton, since I won’t need to be driving very far, and I can run a whole lot faster at either of those places than on any of my favorite trails. For instance, for my first long training run that took place this weekend, I did “Loop 2” of the race course, somewhere around 19 miles, in 3.5 hours (and it was hot, and I ran out of water, just sayin’). Nothing to write home about, but this same distance in the mountains would have taken me probably at least 5 hours, plus extra drive time. I got home in plenty of time to brag on Strava, shower, and go see Wonder Woman (I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE! I will be watching it at least 10 more times, probably way more! Strong, beautiful women, RAR!) with my family.

I will still be hopping up to the mountains. They hold my heart. I cannot stay away. But a significant portion of my time, and likely any blogs I get around to writing, will center around my “adventures” at Pemberton, or on the canal. It’s not the location that makes the adventure, it’s the person!

“Child, finish what you started.”

I will try: October 28, 2017

 

 

 

Smelly Armchair Musings: On Taking Time Off

We runners are an enthusiastic bunch, aren’t we? I say this as I sit comfortably smashed into my couch, on the tail end of 3 weeks? 4 weeks? Of not running.
What happened??????

  • IT Band Pain

A couple of months ago I participated in the Javelina Jundred K. If you follow this blog with any regularity you will realize that I did not write about this race- there is a reason for that. It was my very first attempt at the 100K distance, and it was my very first DNF (Did Not Finish). Right after the race I was not in a mental place that was conducive to blogging. And now it has been so long, it is highly unlikely I was get as far as effectively revisiting that event in cyberspace.

Anyway, my point is that at that race, I encountered horrible IT Band pain and had to stop. Since then, I have had twinges that sometimes become more than that. Overall there’s nothing major, just something there.  I have not had any issues with this in years, since switching to minimalist shoes in fact, and I don’t know what started it off now. Whatever, it sucks.

  • Life Happened

I discovered that I was not Wonder Woman, and that I can’t do everything. In the midst of selling my home and packing and moving and children, and holidays and EVERYTHING, I realized that I was tired and needed to stop. So I did.

  • Running Partner Sidelined

Right around the time Life was blowing up for me, my running partner needed a break to heal some of his nagging injuries. So…

I decided that for once, I was going to give myself permission to stop. It’s funny that I had to “give myself permission”, right? That’s part of why I said that we runners are enthusiastic; we can’t stop, we love what we do, and we do it until we physically can’t do it anymore. I know numerous people who are sidelined with various running-related injuries right now, and it sucks. I know; I’ve been sidelined before. Not being able to do what you love is excruciating. While these past few weeks have been hard for me, I know that I needed this down time, both physically and mentally. I needed everything around me to just stop. While that couldn’t happen completely, giving myself permission to relax and slow down really helped.

Update: I went for my first run of 2015 this morning. It was just 7.5 miles, but the trail I chose is a pretty good work out: lots of rocks to jump, and over 1,200 feet of climbing. Running felt good. Being out and moving in the desert was wonderful. I could tell I’d lost some fitness: the run took me way longer than it should have and I couldn’t run sections that I’ve been able to run in the past. Overall, though, I was happy, and most importantly, content. I know that the fitness will spring back.

When I opened my running calendar to record my miles for the day, I was surprised to see I didn’t have any “scheduled” training miles written in! I currently have a completely blank 2015 training calendar. While I don’t know if I’ll still be able to do all of the events I was planning on, I’m looking forward to filling in my calendar and planning out some epic runs… pain free I hope!